Poundland say they are not behind the removal of the artwork, which was behind a protective perspex screen when it was taken. A spokesman said: 'We're not responsible for either selling or removing the Banksy mural. We're currently investigating.'There's a legal and a moral issue here. I assume that it was a crime to put the art on the wall and that whoever owns the wall owns the graffiti and can sell it. If these works are worth so much money and it was my wall, I'd want to have it removed before somebody stole it or damaged it. You'd think other graffiti artists would be tempted to paint over it.
A Met Police spokesman said the removal has not been reported as a crime.
But if removing these things is frowned upon by the very people who love it and imbue it with value, then it's not worth so much. I could picture the artist seeing this kind of wrangling over the commerce and preservation to be part of the artwork and part of the publicity game around the artwork. No one item is of real value to him. It's about giving things away, and the artwork itself depicts a child engaged in slave labor. It's all about the art. The people's emotional attachment to it and their despair as they lose it are all part of the art.
Or so I presume. Sorry, I haven't really been following the Banksy thing. It's the sort of thing I would normally be interested in, but somehow I've averted my eyes from this character. Here's his Wikipedia page if you need to catch up on him or correct me on my mispresumptions.